Should Schools Have Compulsory Physical Education?

Many public schools are looking for ways to cut costs heading into the next school year and are cutting back on physical education courses, even though funding these programs doesn’t cost as much as others. From lack of funding to school testing standards, school districts are seeing a whole new set of programs offered to students in school.

Some argue that the ending of physical education courses is leading or adding to obesity among the nation’s youth as well as affecting their overall health, which can put districts in the crosshairs of legal claims made by parents who try to lay the blame of their child’s health on the school they attend.

No matter how you look at it, the issue of coming up with the right solution to address compulsory physical education classes or not in a school’s curriculum needs a solution.


Some schools may need to reduce or cut out PE programs entirely depending on their financial situation. Each school is in a different situation and has its own set of educational needs. When schools have to decide between fitting five or six or seven more students in an already-crowded classroom or cut PE classes, they will probably opt for the latter.

Public schools are having to take on a more efficient standard when it comes to programming their curriculum. Based on budget issues, there will be some courses and resources that are taken away or shrunk down. By making gym classes optional, schools are trying to make it a level playing field as much as possible.

Children’s Health

Whether schools are offering PE or not, obesity among Americans, especially young Americans, is growing and becoming more of an issue than ever before. Physical education courses give students an opportunity to get active and exercise, so taking this away or making it optional could be benefiting the sliding down of their overall health. For some kids, this is the only chance they have to get some exercise in, which could lead to tacking on the pounds at a young age.


Diagnoses around Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder are on the rise, especially among young boys in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. saw a 21-percent increase in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD since 2007. One in five high school boys in the country falls under this category as well. Having PE courses could help to keep the students focused and concentrated on specific tasks for certain periods of time. Of course, this is up to the districts to weigh out other options in school that could benefit students with ADHD.

About PGUI

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